Price Changes and Insurance Billing.

Effective April 15th our prices will increase to $50 per visit (initial evaluations are $90). Current patients may pre-purchase treatments at the existing price of $40 until May 15th. We are offering this discount in blocks of 3, 5, and 10 treatments.

We are also accepting Mastercard and Visa as well as checks and cash payments.

Our billing service will check your medical insurance for reimbursement for acupuncture services. If your policy pays for our services, we will refund your prepaid fees.

The History of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a very ancient form of healing which pre-dates recorded history.  The philosophy is rooted in the Taoist tradition which goes back over 8000 years. The people of this time period would meditate and observe the flow of energy within and without. They also were keen to observe man’s relations with nature and the universe. There were many sages of this period, but the most legendary was Fu Hsi, who lived in the Yellow River area of China approximately 8000 years ago. By observing nature, he formulated the first two symbols, a broken line and unbroken line.   These symbols represented the two major forces in the universe � creation and reception – and how their interaction forms life. This duality was named yin-yang and they represent the backbone of Chinese Medicine theory and application. Fu Hsi then discovered that when yin-yang fuse, a creative action occurs, and this gives birth to a third aspect. Fu Hsi then pondered on how this triplicity occurs eight times and this led to the eight trigrams and then 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching (Book of Change).  The I-Ching shaped the thinking for years to come and every influential book on Chinese Medicine is based upon its fundamental philosophy.

The primitive society of China is divided into two time periods- The Old Stone Age(10,000 years ago and beyond) and the New Stone Age (10,000-4000 years ago).During the Old Stone Age knives were made of stone and were used  for certain medical procedures. During the New Stone Age, stones were refined into fine needles and served as instruments of healing. They were named bian stone – which means use of a sharp edged stone to treat disease. Many bian stone needles were excavated from ruins in China dating back to the New Stone Age.

The most significant milestone in the history of Acupuncture occurred during the period of Huang Di -The Yellow Emperor (2697-2597). In a famous dialogue between Huang Di and his physician Qi Bo, they discuss the whole spectrum of the Chinese Medical Arts. These conversations would later become the monumental text – The Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine). The Nei Jing is the earliest book written on Chinese Medicine. It was compiled around 305-204 B.C. and consists of two parts:

  1. The Su Wen (Plain Questions) -9 volumes – 81 chapters
    The Su Wen introduces anatomy and physiology, etiology of disease, pathology, diagnosis, differentiation of syndromes, prevention, yin-yang, five elements, treatment, and man’s relationship with nature and the cosmos.
  2. The Ling Shu (Miraculous Pivot, Spiritual Axis)– 81 Chapters
    The Ling Shu’s focus is Acupuncture, description of the meridians, functions of the zang-fu organs, nine types of needles, functions of the acupuncture points, needling techniques, types of Qi, location of 160 points.

In approximately 1000 BC, during the Shang Dynasty, hieroglyphs showed evidence of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Bronze needles were excavated from ruins, but the bian stones remained the main form of needle.

During the Warren States Era (421-221 B.C.) metal needles replaced the bian stones. Four gold needles and five silver needles were found in an ancient tomb dating back to 113B.C. The Miraculous Pivot names nine types of Acupuncture needles. The Historical Records notes many physicians practicing Acupuncture during this time. Another milestone for this period was the compilation of the Nan Jing (Book of Difficult Questions).  The Nan Jing discusses five element theory, hara diagnosis, eight extra meridians, and other important topics.

From 260-265 A.D., the famous physician Huang Fu Mi, organized all of the ancient literature into his classic text – Systematic Classics of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. The text is twelve volumes and describes 349 Acupuncture points. It is organized according to the theory of: zang fu, Qi and blood, channels and collaterals, acupuncture points, and clinical application. This book is noted to be one of the most influential texts in the history of Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture was very popular during the Jin, Northern, Southern, Dynasties (265-581A.D.). For generations the Xu Xi family were known as the experts in the art of Acupuncture. During this time period important texts and charts enhanced knowledge and application.

Acupuncture experienced great development during the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) Dynasties. Upon request from the Tang Government (627-649A.D.), the famous physician Zhen Quan revised the important Acupuncture texts and charts. Another famous physician of the time, Sun Simio, wrote Prescription with a Thousand Gold for Emergencies (650-692). This text includes data on Acupuncture from various scholars. During this period Acupuncture became a special branch of medicine and practitioners were named Acupuncturists. Acupuncture schools appeared, and Acupuncture education became part of the Imperial Medical Bureau.

During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the famous physician Wang Weiyi wrote, The Illustrated Manual on Points for Acupuncture and Moxibustion. This book included the description of 657 points. He also casted two bronze statues on which meridians and points were engraved for teaching purposes.

The Ming Dynasty (1568-1644) was the enlightening period for the advancement of Acupuncture. Many new developments included:

  1. Revision of the classic texts
  2. Refinement of Acupuncture techniques and manipulation
  3. Development of Moxa sticks for indirect treatment
  4. Development of extra points outside the main meridians
  5. The encyclopedic work of 120 volumes- Principle and Practice of Medicine was written by the famous physician Wang Gendung
  6. 1601 – Yang Jizhou wrote Zhenjin Dacheng (Principles of Acupuncture and Moxibustion). This great treatise on Acupuncture reinforced the principles of the Nei Jing and Nan Jing. This work was the foundation of the teachings of G.Soulie de Morant who introduced Acupuncture into Europe.

From the Qing Dynasty to the Opium Wars (1644-1840), herbal medicine became the main tool of physicians and Acupuncture was suppressed.

Following the Revolution of 1911, Western Medicine was introduced and Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology were suppressed. Due to the large population and need for medical care, Acupuncture and herbs remained popular among the folk people, and the “barefoot doctor” emerged.

Acupuncture was used exclusively during the Long March (1934-35) and despite harsh conditions it helped maintain the health of the army. This led Mao Zedong, the leader of the Communist Party, to see that Acupuncture remained an important element in China’s medical system. In 1950 Chairman Mao officially united Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western Medicine, and acupuncture became established in many hospitals. In the same year Comrade Zhu De reinforced Traditional Chinese Medicine with his book New Acupuncture.

In the late 1950’s to the 1960’s Acupuncture research continued with – further study of the ancient texts, clinical effect on various diseases, acupuncture anesthesia, and acupuncture’s effect on the internal organs.

From the 1970’s to the present, Acupuncture continues to play an important role in China’s medical system. China has taken the lead in researching all aspects of acupuncture�s application and clinical effects. Although acupuncture has become modernized, it will never lose its connection to a philosophy established thousands of years ago.
By: Scott Suvow, L.Ac.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Cholesterol Management

What is cholesterol and how is it bad? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body and many foods. Your body needs cholesterol to function normally and makes all that you need. Too much cholesterol can sometimes build up in your arteries. After a while, these deposits narrow your arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

Since you can have high cholesterol without realizing it, it’s important to have your blood cholesterol levels checked. Most of the 65 million Americans with high cholesterol have no symptoms. All adults age 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years, or more frequently if cholesterol levels are elevated.

High cholesterol can also develop in early childhood and adolescence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the risk increases as weight increases. In the United States alone, more than twenty percent of youth aged 12-19 years have at least one abnormal lipid level. Children over the age of two should have their cholesterol checked if they are overweight or obese, have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or certain chronic conditions such as kidney disease, inflammatory diseases, congenital heart disease, and childhood cancer.

Research has clearly shown that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Whether you have heart disease already or want to prevent it, you can reduce your risk for having a heart attack by lowering your cholesterol level.

According to the American Heart Association, exercise and a healthy, balanced diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats is important to lowering risk and improving your cardiovascular health. Speak to your health care providers to make sure your cholesterol is being monitored and find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you stay healthy.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to treat many of the health conditions known to drastically increase the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol including smoking, high blood pressure, excess weight, and diabetes.

Combating Feelings of Holiday Stress, Anxiety and Depression with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

While the holidays are depicted in movies as a time of idyllic serenity and joy, we have all felt the realities of holiday stress.  Financial concerns, gift giving, busy schedules, family obligations, weight gain and lack of exercise all play into the “holiday cheer”.  These pressures can affect us physically, emotionally and spiritually often leading to anxiety and depression.   Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide a unique perspective and intervention for these common seasonal difficulties.

Anxiety comes in a wide range of manifestations, from mild worrying to more physical responses such as nausea, insomnia, shortness of breath and panic attacks.  Some anxiety is a healthy response to the stress of daily life and new situations; however, anxiety that occurs randomly or excessively is a sign to take notice.  Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help balance both the mental and physical symptoms of anxiety and help to create harmony and spaciousness.

From an acupuncture and Chinese medicine perspective, many manifestations of anxiety can be traced back to the energetic concert between the heart and kidneys.  The temperament of the heart is fiery, expansive and upward.  From a Chinese medicine standpoint, it exhibits yang characteristics.  The dynamic terrain of the kidneys are on the other end of the Chinese medicine continuum.  The kidneys’ energetic character is fluid, inward and contemplative, exhibiting a yin nature.  If there is too much fire, we may experience symptoms of anxiety and agitation of the mind.

It is estimated that 20% of the population is depressed at some point in life.  Common symptoms of depression during holiday time include a sense of apathy, cynicism or anger toward the holiday season, isolation from festivities and holiday traditions, crying spells and over-consumption of food and/or alcohol.  Depression may be compounded in some people by SAD, seasonal affective disorder  – a type of depression associated with the low light conditions experienced during the winter months.

In acupuncture and Chinese medicine, the liver’s job is to negotiate the free flow of energy in the body.  Impaired liver function can lead to inappropriate jams, limited availability of resources and sluggishness.  In acupuncture and Chinese medicine this condition is often referred to as liver depression and qi stagnation.  The “depression” is the body’s reduced ability to move its resources.  Stagnation occurs when the lack of energy to circulate needed supplies becomes obstructed.  This can cause sleep and digestive complaints, musculoskeletal pain and emotional instability.  Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer effective strategies to remedy the depressed energy and to move the resulting stagnation, leading to better health and outlook.

While modern life has helped make so many aspects of daily living easier, many people still suffer from emotional distress especially around the Holiday season.  Subsequently, anxiety, increased stress and depression are some of the most common conditions affecting individuals during this eventful season.  Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are effective and safe tools to help smooth and balance what can be a challenging time of the year even under the best circumstances.

About the Author
Sharon Sherman is a Licensed Practitioner of Oriental Medicine (L.OM.) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania specializing in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology and Oriental Medicine. Sharon is the founder of Empirical Point, LLC. a private Philadelphia acupuncture practice with offices in Chestnut Hill and Center City.


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Understanding Tongue Diagnosis

You may be surprised to find that during an acupuncture appointment, your practitioner will ask to look at your tongue.  This may seem like an odd request, and is probably the first time a health care provider has asked you to stick our your tongue.  However, in Chinese medicine, a practitioner can garner quite a bit of information about you and your condition, simply by taking a look at your tongue.

When your practitioner looks at your tongue, he or she is looking at the shape, color, size, coating and positioning or movement of the tongue, each of which offers a piece to the diagnostic puzzle.

Shape and Size of Tongue
The shape and size of the tongue tends to address the status of fluids in the body.  For example, a very large, puffy, or scalloped tongue suggests that fluids are not being properly metabolized in the body. In contrast, a very small, short tongue may indicate dryness, a deficiency of fluids, or deficiency in general.  In addition to shape and size, any movement of the tongue can indicate a deficiency of energy or the presence of an internal wind pathogen.

Color of Tongue
Tongue color varies widely from person to person, but is a good indicator of the overall nature of what is going on in the body.  A red tongue indicates that there is heat present  in the body, and the redder the tongue, the greater amount of heat present.  A tongue that is pale indicates a deficiency of qi and blood or the presence of cold.  A purple tongue tells your practitioner that there is stagnation somewhere in the body.

Tongue color may also vary on different parts of the tongue.  For example, a tongue that is red at the very tip indicates heat in the Heart, as the tip of the tongue correlates with conditions of the Heart.  Just behind the tip corresponds to the Lungs; the sides of the tongue are associated with the Liver; the center of the tongue with the Spleen/Stomach or digestion; and the back of the tongue is associated with the condition of the Kidney.

Tongue Coating
A coating on the tongue can also give your practitioner information about your health.  The thickness of a coating is an indicator of the severity of the condition being treated.  A thin coating, one in which you can see the tongue through the coating, indicates that any pathogen present is mild or on the exterior.  A thick coating that obscures the tongue tells your practitioner that the condition is deeper and more serious.

The condition of the coating also speaks to the condition of fluids in the body.  A moist or wet coating indicates poor fluid metabolism, and a dry coating indicates depleted fluids.  A coating that is peeled off, either completely or partially, indicates some kind of heat or damage to the Stomach, possibly a depletion of Stomach Yin, or damage to Stomach Qi.

Tongue coatings also vary in color.  In general, a thin white coating is normal, but can also appear in diseases associated with cold conditions.  A yellow or brown coat indicates heat, and a gray or black coat indicates an extreme condition.  It�s also important to note that foods such as red wine, orange juice, and coffee can alter the appearance of the coating.  Needless to say, food dyes can dramatically alter the color of the tongue.  In more than one instance, I have had a young patient stick out their tongue, only to see a bright blue, green, or pink coating!

The condition of your tongue will change as your health changes, but in general those changes appear on the tongue slowly.  One exception is during a cold or flu when the patient has a high fever, a very red tongue will appear fairly quickly.

Tongue diagnosis can be a subtle art. To try it yourself, observe the variations of your tongue and compare it to that of friends or family members.  After you have looked at a few tongues, you will see that they differ widely, and with a little study can tell you a lot about the overall health of a person.

by: Lynn Jaffee, LAc, Dipl. OM, MaOM

Foods Men Should Eat Every Day

 

Adding nutrient-rich super foods to the diet can give men a healthy boost.

Here are just a few foods that can help maintain muscle mass, prevent prostate cancer, and more.

Avocados
Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and copper.  Rich in potassium, avocados contain more of this nutrient than bananas.  Potassium is needed to regulate nerves, heartbeat and, especially, blood pressure.  An added bonus for men: Avocados inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Blackberries
Blackberries are packed with Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium, with more than double the amounts than their popular cousin, the blueberry.  Vitamin C is a powerful stress reducer that can lower blood pressure and return cortisol levels to normal faster when taken during periods of stress.  Magnesium and calcium act together to help regulate the nerves and muscle tone.

Too little magnesium in your diet can cause nerve cells to become over activated and can trigger muscular tension, soreness, spasms, cramps, and fatigue.  Blackberries also score high on the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) scale assesses the antioxidant content of food: the higher the score, the better the food’s ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that lead to cancer.

Spinach
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence.  Spinach can help protect against prostate cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, lower blood pressure and strengthen muscles.

Walnuts
When it comes to their health benefits, walnuts are the king of nuts. Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-oxidants than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken, walnuts are one of the all time super foods.

Yogurt
Eating yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures every day improves digestive health, boosts the immune system, provides protection against cancer and may help you live longer.   Not all yogurts are probiotic though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.”

Acupuncture Makes Cancer Treatments Easier to Tolerate

The American Cancer Society has reported that half of all men and a third of all women in the United States will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Although there are many forms of cancer, all forms of the disease begin with abnormal cells that grow out of control.

Unlike other illnesses that are eradicated by the body’s natural defense system, cancer needs to be treated with powerful medical interventions. Unfortunately, most of the current cancer treatments available have some debilitating side effects. This is where acupuncture can provide real help, by decreasing many of the side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments.

Clinical Trials Indicate Acupuncture Provides Relief

Clinical trials have examined the effects of acupuncture on cancer and the symptoms caused by cancer treatment, including weight loss, cough, chest pain, fever, anxiety, depression, night sweats, hot flashes, dry mouth, speech problems and fluid retention in the arms or legs. Studies have shown that, for many patients, treatment with acupuncture either relieves symptoms or keeps them from getting worse.

  • Relieves Pain and Stiffness during Hormone Therapy – In 2010, The Journal of Clinical Oncology published the results of a small study that concluded that acupuncture helped relieve pain and stiffness in breast cancer patients who were simultaneously being treated with hormone therapies.
  • Minimizes Dry Mouth – In 2009, the medical journal Head and Neck reported the results of a pilot study done at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The subjects were people suffering from head and neck cancer. The authors concluded, “This pilot study demonstrates that acupuncture can improve the subjective symptoms of dry mouth in patients with radiation-induced xerostomia as early as two weeks after starting treatment, and the benefits can remain at least one month after treatment ends,” Dr. Mark Chambers told Reuters Health.
  • Reduces Pain and Shoulder Dysfunction – In 2008, Dr. David Pfister, chief of the head and neck medical oncology service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago. He reported that patients found significant reductions in both dry mouth and pain and shoulder dysfunction after neck dissection with the help of acupuncture. “Although further studies are needed, this does support the potential role of acupuncture,” said Pfister.
  • Reduces Hot Flashes – In 2011 A Yale University/University of Pittsburgh study of women with hot flashes brought on by conventional breast cancer treatment found that women who received acupuncture had a 30 percent reduction in hot flashes.

Endorsement of Acupuncture for Cancer Treatment

Acupuncture continues to receive enthusiastic testimonials from patients and health care professionals alike. Prominent names in U.S. society and the medical community have attested to the efficacy of acupuncture as a supportive therapy for oncology treatment.

  • Dr. Oz has said that acupuncture is helpful for reducing the side effects of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation including pain, nausea, fatigue, hot flashes and dry mouth.
  • When singer Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer, she underwent a lumpectomy followed by radiation. During these treatments she also received acupuncture and drank herbal teas.
  • Former First Lady of Chicago, Maggie Daley, gave generously to help open the Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The center includes acupuncture as an option for the patients.

Many people are finding out that, although the treatments necessary to defeat cancer can be traumatizing and debilitating, they can get some relief through acupuncture.

Acupuncture More Effective than Medication for Headache Relief

By: Duke Medicine News and Communications

Acupuncture is more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches, according to a new analysis conducted by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

The National Institutes of Health recommended acupuncture as a viable treatment for chronic headaches a decade ago and, while research in this field has increased, there have been conflicting reports about its efficacy.

“We combed through the literature and conducted the most comprehensive review of available data done to date using only the most rigorously-executed trials,” says Tong Joo (T.J.) Gan, MD, a Duke anesthesiologist who lead the analysis.

Researchers analyzed data from only randomized controlled trials evaluating acupuncture for adults with chronic headaches and were conducted for more than four weeks.

“Acupuncture is becoming a favorable option for a variety of purposes ranging from enhancing fertility to decreasing post-operative pain because people experience significantly fewer side effects and it can be less expensive than other options,” Gan says. “This analysis reinforces that acupuncture also is a successful source of relief from chronic headaches.”

While everyone experiences an occasional headache, more than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, 20 million of whom are women. Medication remains the mainstay of treatment with varying levels of success.

The Duke team looked at studies that compared traditional acupuncture to either medication or a control group who received sham acupuncture. Similar to traditional acupuncture, the sham therapy entails inserting needles into the skin but the acupuncturist avoids meridians or areas of the body that Chinese medicine teaches contains vital energy associated with achieving balance needed for good health.

Researchers analyzed more than 30 studies to arrive at the findings published in the December issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia. The studies included nearly 4,000 patients who reported migraines (17 studies), tension headaches (10 studies) and other forms of chronic headaches with multiple symptoms (four studies).

In 17 studies comparing acupuncture to medication, the researchers found that 62 percent of the acupuncture patients reported headache relief compared to only 45 percent of people taking medication. These acupuncture patients also reported better physical well-being compared to the medication group. In 14 studies that compared real acupuncture to sham therapy, 53 percent of acupuncture patients responded to treatment compared to 45 percent receiving sham therapy.

“Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years but only recently has started to become more accepted as an alternative or supplement to conventional therapies,” Gan explains.

“One of the barriers to treatment with acupuncture is getting people to understand that while needles are used it is not a painful experience,” Gan says. “It is a method for releasing your body’s own natural painkillers.”

Acupuncture therapy is becoming widely available nationwide and a typical course of treatment for chronic headaches requires 30-minute sessions. Many people begin experiencing relief following five to six visits.

Gan also has conducted research to determine the effect of acupuncture on post-operative pain, nausea and vomiting. His research has found that acupuncture can significantly reduce pain and the need for pain medications following surgery. He also found that acupuncture can be as effective as medication in reducing post-operative nausea and vomiting.

The research was conducted in collaboration with Yanxia Sun, MD. The meta-analysis was supported by Duke’s Department of Anesthesiology.


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http://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+News/Acupuncture+More+Effective+than+Medication+for+Headache+Relief
11/27/2013 10:03:54 am

Acupuncture for Menopause

Acupuncture and Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health with Acupuncture

With its close understanding of the female body, Oriental medicine has always addressed the special needs of women throughout their lives. Menopause, in particular, is an area in which Oriental Medicine shines. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and quickly relieve uncomfortable symptoms that accompany the onset of menopause.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a woman�s body. Most women stop menstruating between the ages of 48 and 52, but symptoms can begin as early as 35. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, and are brought on as our bodies try to adapt to decreasing amounts of estrogen. Symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, memory loss, vaginal dryness, headaches, joint pain, and weight gain.

From an Eastern Perspective

According to Oriental Medical theory, menopause occurs when a woman�s body begins to preserve blood and energy in order to sustain her. The kidney is the organ system in Oriental Medicine that is viewed as the root of reproduction, vitality and longevity. Menopause signifies the depletion of the fertility essence stored within the kidneys. Blood and essence from the kidneys are conserved and cycled through the body to nourish the woman�s spirit and extend her longevity. Thus, in Oriental Medicine, menopause is seen as true change in life from mother to enlightened and wise being.

Treating Menopause with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Few areas of women�s health stir up as much confusion and debate as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which is normally started when the first symptoms of menopause appear. While HRT may alleviate hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis, they may also increase the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, and have a number of significant side-effects. But HRT isn�t the only solution, Oriental medicine has long recognized that health and vitality can be sustained over a woman�s lifetime by restoring balance within the body and supporting the natural production of essential hormones.

Acupuncture Points for Menopause

While many different acupuncture points are used, depending on your specific symptoms and the state of your overall health, here are some acupuncture points that are commonly used to treat menopause:

Du 20 – Located on the top of the head, midway between the ears. This point helps clear the spirit and rebalances the yin and yang elements of the body.

Urinary Bladder 23 (UB 23) – A lower back point that is level to the second lumbar vertebra. This point invigorates the kidney system and nourishes kidney essence. It is often used to strengthen the lumbar region and the knees.

Kidney 3 (Ki 3) � In the depression between the inside ankle bone and the Achilles tendon, level with the tip of the ankle bone. Kidney 3 invigorates and strengthens the kidney system and regulates the uterus.

Kidney 7 (Ki 7) � Located approximately 2 fingers breadth above Kidney 3. It is used to treat hot flashes and night sweats.

Spleen 6 (Sp 6) – Located about 4 fingers breadth above the tip of the inside ankle bone in a depression. (see video on how to locate Spleen 6) This is one of the most influential points for women�s health. It strengthens the spleen, resolves damp, promotes the smooth flow of Qi, strengthens the kidneys, nourishes blood and yin, benefits urination, regulates uterus and menstruation, moves and cools blood, relieves pain and calms the mind.

Lifestyle and Dietary Instructions

Menopause patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight and to follow a diet with a high content of raw foods, fruits and vegetables to stabilize blood sugar. Some foods may exacerbate hot flashes or increase mood swings; steer clear of dairy products, red meats, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods, caffeine, and don�t smoke. Lastly, try to eliminate stress, tension and anxiety or learn techniques to cope with stress so that you can diminish the effects that it has on your body and mind.

With support from Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine along with small changes in lifestyle and diet, menopause can be a time of a revival of vital energy and an opportunity for personal growth. Please call with any questions or to schedule a consultation.

Study on Acupuncture for Hot Flashes

Acupuncture reduces nighttime hot flashes caused by menopause, according to a study published in the journal, Fertility and Sterility.

Researchers found that seven weeks of acupuncture treatment reduced the severity of nighttime hot flashes by twenty-eight percent among menopausal women compared with a six percent decrease among women who had a sham acupuncture treatment.

The effects of acupuncture vs. a sham acupuncture treatment on the severity and frequency of nighttime hot flashes were compared. Taking part in the study were twenty-nine menopausal women experiencing at least seven moderate to severe hot flashes per day.

All of the women underwent nine treatments from trained acupuncturists in sessions over seven weeks. Twelve of the women received real acupuncture using points selected to target hot flashes and sleepiness. The rest of the women received a sham acupuncture treatment using non-penetrating needles at random acupuncture channel points.

Throughout the study, the women reported the number and severity of their hot flashes. The results showed that nighttime hot flash severity decreased significantly (twenty-eight percent) among the women who received acupuncture vs. a six percent drop among the women who got the sham treatment. However, they did not see a similar finding in the frequency of nighttime hot flashes between the two groups.

Researcher Mary Huang, M.S., of Stanford University, and colleagues say the results suggest acupuncture deserves further study as an alternative treatment for menopausal hot flashes.

By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM
Source:
Huang, M. Fertility and Sterility, September 2006; Vol. 86: pp. 700-710. News release, American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Autumn Arthritis Treated with Acupuncture

Fall Back This Season with an Ancient Practice to Alleviate Your Pain!

According to the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, approximately one-third of Americans will experience chronic pain at some point in their lives. Approximately 50 million Americans are living with chronic pain and it is the number one cause of adult disability in the United States. One such chronic pain disease is arthritis, also known as joint inflammation. Although arthritis sufferers can experience joint pain at any time during the year, it is exacerbated during the cooler months.

Changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure, affects the joints, according to a report in the Proceedings of the Western Pharmacology Society in 2004. The authors of the study found that patients suffering with osteoarthritis had an increased level of joint pain in low atmospheric pressure (associated with inclement and windy weather) and those with rheumatoid arthritis also suffered with lower temperatures.  It is believed that inflamed joints swell as barometric pressure drops, thus, irritating the surrounding nerves causing pain and stiffness.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) along with the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized acupuncture as a viable treatment option for many ailments, including the various debilitating forms of arthritis.  In an article from Arthritis Today, from the Arthritis Foundation, reported that �The largest acupuncture study ever conducted shows that the technique significantly reduced pain and improved function for 570 patients with knee osteoarthritis who had moderate or severe pain despite taking anti-inflammatory or pain medications. The study also showed that acupuncture, like many complementary treatments, requires patience. Although people in the study had a 40 percent reduction in pain from acupuncture, they did not begin to benefit significantly more than the sham acupuncture group until week 14 of the 26-week study�
(http://www.arthritistoday.org/treatments/self-treatments/5-steps-to-pain-relief.php).

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been around for over 2500 years.  The ancient Chinese believed that there is energy flowing through pathways throughout our bodies that can have an affect on our health.  When the energy is not flowing properly in the pathways, it can create pain and other health issues.  The manipulation of hair-fine needles stimulate the body in order to restore energy flow and balance in the body.

How can acupuncture help an arthritis sufferer?
The application of the needles in certain spots of the body will have an analgesic effect on the pain sufferer by affecting dopamine. Conventional medicine believes that changes in dopamine will have an affect on endorphins, the body�s own natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. In 2004, a radiologist team from Harvard Medical School used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to view changes of blood flow in the brain when the acupuncture needles were applied to points that are believed, in traditional Chinese practice, to affect pain. The radiologists noted changes of blood flow in areas of the brain that are full of dopamine. Thus, the pain sufferer did not feel the pain when the endorphins were released through the needle applications and manipulation.

What can be expected during a treatment of acupuncture?
After a thorough assessment of the patient and health concerns, a licensed acupuncturist will prepare a treatment plan and point prescription. The patient will then lie down on a table with only the areas to be treated exposed.  Then the areas to be treated are wiped with alcohol and the hair-fine, disposable, needles are inserted into the skin.  The treatment usually lasts for 20-30 minutes, once or twice per week, depending on the condition.  Results will vary from person to person.

So, for those of you who have been suffering with chronic pain, you have the option to seek a healthy and non-invasive treatment to finally start feeling pain relief.

By: Jannet Molina-Manteiga, CA, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM)
About the Author:
Jannet Molina-Manteiga, CA, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM) is an acupuncturist licensed by the New Jersey Acupuncture Examining Board, under the supervision of the Board of Medical Examiners.